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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Paul Ryan hasn’t delivered Wisconsin to GOP ticket

    Joe Burbank
    GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan delivers remarks at a send-off rally on the tarmac at the airport in Lakeland, Florida, Friday, August 31, 2012. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT)

    KENOSHA, Wis. — Miles Tooher, a 65-year-old whose patio furniture business is going under in the conservative Milwaukee suburb of West Allis, thinks Republican Mitt Romney could help turn the economy around if he could win the presidency.

    But he’s skeptical that Paul Ryan, the young congressman from his own state who was named as Romney’s running mate, is helping even in Wisconsin. “I’m not sure that was the best choice,” Tooher said. “Ryan is a little more radical than Romney.”

    Ryan hasn’t been able to turn the state for Romney. President Barack Obama leads in Wisconsin, a swing state where the race was dead even just a few weeks ago. That’s despite a struggling economy that still could make the state open to changing course.

    Joyce Sorensen, a 61-year-old retiree from Kenosha, reflected on the race as she walked near a red lighthouse standing sentinel over the Great Lakes shipping that once helped make the region an economic powerhouse. She hasn’t decided whom to vote for, but she doesn’t blame Obama for the economy.

    “Obama was handed something he had no control over,” Sorensen said, the fall wind whipping off Lake Michigan and cutting through her light jacket. “And nobody is working with him; Congress isn’t working with him.”

    But Ryan’s statewide appeal is limited by the fact he represents just one-eighth of Wisconsin as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, as opposed to senators, who run statewide and are better known. Ryan also is seen as more polarizing now than he was at the time Romney picked him, Franklin said. About the same number of people in Wisconsin reported viewing Ryan in a negative light in the latest Marquette poll as those who look at him favorably.

    Ryan or not, 58-year-old Brian Grebach of Milwaukee, who recently lost his job as a diesel mechanic after 19 years, thinks it’s time to give Romney a chance.

    “Obama has been president going on four years,” he said. “That’s a long time, and nothing has really changed.”

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